I’m a huge fan of Mexican food and fanatic when it comes to meatballs. So, I came up with today’s recipe, which combines these two food fetishes. While there’s nothing wrong with a meal that is heavy on the meat, I figured I’d better pair the balls up with some healthy veggies, so I went with Calabacitas, which is a traditional Mexican dish using zucchini.
I knew this one would taste good, but I didn’t know how good it would be. This will now be a mainstay in my Paleo Bank Account.
It went like this…
Gather; 1 pound of mushrooms, 1 pound grass fed beef, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 egg, 3 zucchini, 2 handfuls pork skins, 1 red bell pepper (not pictured), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder.
Place the pork rinds in a food processor and blitz into a powder/flour. This will be the replacement for breadcrumbs, which are an ingredient in traditional meatballs.
Chiffonade 1/4 of the bunch of cilantro and add it to a large mixing bowl with the meat, spices, egg and pork flour.
Get your hands dirty and mix, caress and massage the ingredients for 1-2 minutes, or until they look like this:
Divide the mixture up into 1 oz. balls. A #30 portion control disher works well for this. I ended up with 15 meatballs. Place a cast iron skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, lube it with a little olive oil and add the balls to the pan as you roll them.
Turn the balls occasionally as you prepare your vegetables.Cut the zucchini in quarters the long way and remove the seed portion from half of the quarters. Like this:
Line up all of the zucchini quarters and chop them into 3/8″ pieces. Slice your mushrooms, and julienne one red bell pepper, then cut across the julienne pieces like you did your zucchini. Your cutting board should look like this:
By now, your meatballs should be nearly done and look something like this:
Remove them from the pan and set them aside. Add the veggies to same pan, the moisture released from them will deglaze the pan and the fat released from the meat will provide the cooking agent to get the veggies started. Salt and stir the veggies occasionally. They will become watery for a bit, but then the moisture will reduce and the veggies will caramelize. The goal is to stir them only often enough to provide caramelization, but prevent burning/sticking to the pan. You want to end up with something like this:
When veggies are done, transfer 1/3 of them to a bowl and top them with 5 meatballs. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and serve. It should look something like this:
I transferred remaining veggies and balls to 16oz. containers, topped them with a squirt of my Salsa Chipotle and made a deposit into my Paleo Bank Account. This is a meal that I will look forward to.
Whether you are a fiend for Mexican food or you just love a good ball of meat, do yourself a favor and make this recipe. As always, it is only a guideline. Be creative and express yourself. If you do and you come up with something amazing, please share your results.
This recipe is sponsored by SFH. Please check out their site and support their awesome products. My favorites are Coconut Fuel, Peach Mango Recovery and Orange Flavored Fish Oil. If you purchase something today, be sure to use promo code PALEONICK to receive 10% off of your order.
Join me in Livin’ SFH and, as always, do your best to “Keep It Paleo!”